One way to stop the fear influencers
Our brain acts like velcro to negative news. This happens without us having to take an active part in this mental process. Our brains are wired to pay attention to thongs that could be considered a threat to our survival. The media knows this very well. When they create and chose the news that they publish and broadcast, they use it to their advantage.
They want us to believe that the information they provide us is meaningful and useful for our survival. The more we get sucked into following the media and the news, the more unsafe, stressed, and anxious we feel.
But why do we do it?
Because we hold the belief that we can prevent and control our world. We like to believe that the more information we have about our fears, the better we will be prepared to confront them. If this belief was right, we could prevent all our physical and mental pain by researching.
I want to invite you today to question your beliefs about the reason why you watch the news. Right now, ask your self, why do I watch the news?
Before writing this post/episode, I searched Google the top three news in Seattle today. The three articles that showed up were about restaurants closing down, people losing jobs, and the apartment construction market slowing down. All the news headlines pick on our worse fears: bankruptcy, job loss, and lack of a place to live.
If someone said to you right now. You will go bankrupt tomorrow, your husband is going to lose his job, and you won’t have a home to live in. How will you feel? As I type these words, I can feel my body getting tense.
For me, and maybe for you, just thinking about this scenario could easily trigger cortisol and stress in your body. The fear of being in this situation can really dig deep into the things that worry the most in our lives, not being safe and not meeting our vital basic needs.
Is it a coincidence that these three articles connect with my fears and your fears so easily?
The more we spend listening to the news, we are not building more knowledge to deal with future problems. We are simply being manipulated by the media to pay attention to all the junk they want to feed into our brains to keep us hooked to their screens. The media needs us in front of the screen to make us watch advertisements that will end up building more fear.
We are getting trapped in a vicious cycle of worry and endless catastrophes. In the end, we know, and history has proven that most of these negative headlines and their forecasting will never happen to us.
-Headlines: the language of fear
An Australian psychologist, Cindy Gallois, looked into what sort of language ABC News used on their headlines for 20 days during May 2020. The 1354 headlines mentioned the COVID pandemic 1060. The words they use to describe the pandemic the words “dire” and “catastrophic.”
Gallois found that even though they were some positive headlines, most were tarnished with more negative language. This catastrophic world view has played in the media now with our current pandemic, but it is not exclusive to what is going on today.
All these fearful words and emotional manipulation are disturbing to me. Today I want to invite you to question the media. Pay attention to the time you spent reading listening and watching this psychological manipulation.
Take a break and stop watching the news.
Join me today in a simple exercise and have a Media Diet for just three days. Don’t watch the news, don’t check the headlines on google, unsubscribe from any sources that spread negative news. Stop checking any social media, do not listen to the radio, and avoid reading the magazines while waiting in line at the grocery store. Have three days of no media.
At the end of you those three days, write to me and let me know how it went. What did you learn from the exercise? I am convinced that you will be grateful, more optimistic, and your body’s cortisol will be reduced.
“Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate, and to humble.”-Yehuda Berg
One question for you
How much do you think that the media influences your worries and decision making?
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